Suggestion for "Workspace Switcher", "Applications", "Files & Folders" and "Trash" icons

Bug #759724 reported by Eylem on 2011-04-13
This bug affects 17 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ayatana Design
unity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: unity

I've been using Unity since Alpha 1 and it occurred to me that I'm not at all using the "Applications" and "Files & Folders" icons in the Launcher, I doubt I'm the only one. This is partly because the same functionality is available in the Dash but mostly because those icons are too far to the bottom. For me, currently, they just sit there occupying space in Launcher.
The "Workspace Switcher" location is also too far to the bottom and you happen to "look for it", rather than just point and click. Another argument for hiding the switcher button by default is that most users (while not me) do not use workspaces at all and its existence by default would put many novice users off.
In summary, the problem for me is because "Workspace Switcher", "Applications", "Files & Folders" icons are ordered after the favorites and at the end, they do not have a fixed position, something that would help to just point and click, rather than looking for them.

The "Trash" icon is another story. I never used it, end of story. I know it's there because it's been there in Gnome 2.x, which many people has been using but this is a new Shell for God's sake. Why keep something just for the memory of it? It just takes space in the Launcher.

So I suggest that
1) Hide all those icons by default and make them optional in CCSM, and

2-a) Make them movable in the Launcher, or
2-b) Leave the "Trash" position at the bottom but move the other icons to the top, right under the BFB.

Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Invalid
Omer Akram (om26er) on 2011-04-19
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: Invalid → Opinion
Changed in unity:
status: New → Opinion
Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

I think if you're going to close this as "Opinion" == "irreconcilable difference/incompatible solution" we need to be willing to provide an explanation at the very least. Eylem has taken the time to file

The observation about the Trash being under (never) used in particular I think is a fair one given that previously there "Show Desktop" was in that position.

The duplication of Applications and Trash has also been made by others.

Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

Sorry for the inconvenience I still remember the reply I wrote for this bug, must have forgot to hit the 'post comment' button since it caught your attention, marking as incomplete and affecting ayatana-design so that its delivered to the people behind the Unity design, I believe improvements in this part of the interface are already being planned for the next iteration.

Changed in unity:
status: Opinion → Incomplete
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: Opinion → Incomplete
Andrew Anderson (andmatand) wrote :

I don't think they should be disabled by default, but I do concur that there should be an option of hiding/disabling the "workspace switcher", "applications", and "files and folders" lenses.

JeffV (jeff-launchpad-tanasity) wrote :

I concur that these icons are relatively useless in this position...

I'm a heavy workplace user. I often have 20 applications open, spread across two monitors, with 4 workplaces.

For me the Unity bar is a regression in usability: there's not enough space to list all the running programs since they don't resize. Solution: make the icons resizeable. There are other launchers - they've already solved this problem. Learn their lessons?

Ditto above: The Applications and Files folders are useless since the same functionality is available in the Dash. But I understand that for people using Unity for the first time these need to be present: the Dash is not obvious. Solution: These should be removable with right click.

The workspace icon is at the bottom of the list, with the other system icons. It can't be moved out of this position. This is a terrible place for a heavy workplace user. To switch workplaces with the mouse, you have to scroll through the list which is inevitably half compressed, then trigger, then select the workspace you want. In previous versions of Ubuntu users could just select the workspace in one step - point and click. Now we have 3. Or if we use keyboard switching, at least 2 keypresses. I understand this is a good solution for people who hardly ever use workspaces. For power users, the solution is - to allow the icon to be moveable - personally, I need it at the top of the list - and to allow Super,S,1 to trigger the first workplace, Super, S, 2 the second, and so on. I think this crosses into compiz settings.

Lastly, on my screens, the indicator of which workplace is selected is subtle. Very very subtle. A positive indicator icon, rather than shading would be better. I'm guessing this is a compiz setting I haven't explored/found.

@JeffV I think best solution for you is to set "expo edge" in expo's preferences in ccsm (I have it on lower right corner).

@JeffV I think best solution for you is to set "expo edge" in expo's preferences in ccsm (I set it on lower right corner). Have a look at the appearance tab while you're at it, you can set the brightness and saturation of inactive workspaces. (dtx-2503) wrote :

Have an option to show or hide "Dash Home", "Workspace Switcher", "Applications", "Files & Folders" and "Trash" icons is a good idea. I love it!
And it's even better if I can set icon's position is from top, or from bottom...

Marcin Juszkiewicz (hrw) on 2011-12-05
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
John Lea (johnlea) wrote :

Marking invalid as the "Applications", "Files & Folders" are no longer in the Launcher by default (but it will be possible to choose to add them their if you wish), and because having the workspaces icon in the Launcher is due to become optional.

Changed in ayatana-design:
status: New → Invalid
TomaszChmielewski (mangoo-wpkg) wrote :

@John: "Trash" icon is still there.

Omer Akram (om26er) on 2011-12-05
Changed in unity:
status: Incomplete → Won't Fix
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Won't Fix
Changed in unity:
status: Won't Fix → Invalid
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: Won't Fix → Invalid
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